Being A Biracial Child Means Seeing The World Through Two Different Lenses

Being A Biracial Child Means Seeing The World Through Two Different Lenses

"You get the best of both worlds."
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A goal of mine when I joined Odyssey was to be the person who showed the world the voices of the community around me. Every time I have done an interview, it is because there is something about the people I have interviewed that others do not know. And this interview is an addition to the collection of stories I've had the amazing privilege to tell. I love reading about different perspectives, but I haven't seen too many pieces that display the perspective of a mixed child. I have seen statistics and facts, but neither of those compare to the voice of a person with a story about her life as a multiracial child. My friend Sarah* is someone whose voice deserves to be heard by the world, and I could not thank her enough for being such a wonderful friend and for doing this interview.


Please note that the person's name has been changed*, and the person pictured in the cover photo is not the same person who was interviewed. Also, any text within brackets has been changed for clarity or grammar purposes.

Has being biracial ever been a problem for you?

"Being biracial has opened my eyes to new cultures and has helped me experience diversity in the world. Although being multiracial has opened my eyes, it can be at times hard because it's sometimes difficult to relate to other people.

"A problem that I have faced as a mixed person is representation in general society. For example, there are not a lot of role models that I can look up to that are of my same races. There are people that I look up to that are of one of my races, [but they are] never of both. Fortunately, we live in an open-minded world (for the most part), and almost everyone that I know does not judge me based on my ethnicities.

"However, my parents, being a multiracial couple, have been judged because of the fact that they are not of the same race. [Once] they asked someone to take a picture of them, and he refused to, solely due to the fact that they were of different ethnicities."

What are the benefits of being multiracial?

"I come from two very diverse and rich cultural backgrounds, and both my direct and extended family members have taught me many interesting things about my history, which has enabled me to be more aware and open-minded. I have immense respect for everything that my grandparents on both sides have gone through to raise my parents, who then raised me. I love hearing stories from both families, whether [they] be influential historical events or unique traditions. When I was younger, for special events like family reunions, I got to wear traditional clothing, and it was interesting to see the differences [between] the said clothing and what I usually wore.

"I get to travel to my different homelands. For example, I got to go out of the country for the first time a while back to visit my extended family, and it was an incredible experience that I won't forget. Not only did I feel enriched with new knowledge, but I also gained a better understanding of my roots."

Do you find any differences between being multiracial versus others of one race?

I wanted to ask her about a more specific topic, which was that certain mixed people have claimed to feel out-of-place when it comes to figuring out where they feel they belong. Fortunately, she replied that she doesn't feel the same way.

"I get to see the world through two different lenses. Diversity is a very big part of my life, and it has helped shaped me to become the person I am today, both figuratively and literally. I hope I can spread my cultural awareness to other people and absorb theirs as well to make me a better person.

"But for standardized tests and any forms that require me to fill out my race, I often find it difficult to decide which of my two ethnicities to put down. There's always the 'other' option, but at the same time, my ethnicities are both presented. It wouldn't make sense for me to put ['other'].

"I feel like the community and the people I've surrounded myself with are accepting of everyone, and I'm thankful that I haven't experienced discrimination or felt like I haven't belonged. I just hope that others like me feel the same way."

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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September 12, 2001, Was My First Encounter With Antisemitism, And I'll Never Forget It

Despite opinion, America was not united.

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9/11 has come and gone again. And with it are the many feelings of the event that those of us who lived it will never forget. I know I can recall quite clearly where I was when the second tower went down. However, this is not about that day. It is about the day after.

September 12th, 2001, if you believe everything you read on Facebook, was a day of unity. We were all Americans, united against a singular evil foe. That sounds idealistic, right? In fact, it sounds great. But it also sounds Nationalist, right? And unfortunately, like anything involving Nationalism, there is an in-and-out club. As it turns out, I was part of the out-club. I did not feel any unity on September 12, 2001.

Instead, when classes resumed the next day, and everything the students discussed was dominated by the Twin Towers and terrorism, I had to deal with something new. I dealt with antisemitism for the first time in my life.

In Hebrew School growing up, I had been taught that this would happen eventually. But not in this manner. I knew little about the Middle East when I was in middle school. I knew even less about the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. But I learned really quickly that somehow, Jews were responsible for the terror attacks.

I was called a murderer multiple times on the day after. I did not know how to respond. In fact, middle school is a time where socially awkward people like me are desperate to be accepted. Not only did I remain silent, but I began to feel like it must be true if so many were telling me this.

I did not feel safe after the 9/11 attacks. I was being picked on and accused of being responsible. And of course, at the same time, there had been a terrorist attack in New York as well as at the Pentagon. My entire world was crumbling down. I was in a period of important growth. Instead of it being positive, I feel that it was stifled by hatred. I started researching terrorism, the Middle East, and of course, Israel. I felt even less safe once I saw how much hatred was being directed at people just like me.

The treatment of Muslims on the same day was just as horrible. My best friend is Muslim. While we did not know each other yet, he told me horror stories of how he was treated right after the event that shook us all. Certainly, neither of us felt connected to America after 9/11.

And this really gets at the heart of what I am trying to describe. Every year on September 11th, I get to see countless posts about American unity in the face of evil. And instead of joining in chorus with these ideas, I am filled with fury. Rather than feel any hope from the actions of Americans on this day, I despair at American exceptionalism.

I watched as a terror attack succeeded at its two goals. The first was to cause death and destruction. The second was to sow seeds of fear and paranoia. Given that the events that happened to my friend and I were very widespread in the United States, it is fair to say that happened. People were attacked and even killed because of how they looked.

In the end, things look bleak - even now. This same fear and loathing continue to dominate American politics. We might talk a good game about never forgetting 9/11, but clearly, the next day showed the reality. The attacks were a complete and utter victory for Al Qaeda and a complete defeat for the United States. Terror has continued to win. I fear that this will not change soon.

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